01 May 2010

Helpers in the Kitchen

Last night was the sleepover at H's school. He had a great time last year, so was excited to sign up again. But honestly ... he has been in such an emotional funk this week (stress?), I was completely surprised he still wanted to go. We were all ready to have him back out, but he got home from after-school, and was all excited to go. Once there, however, it took quite a bit of coaxing for him to stay. He eventually did, but around 11:30 pm we got the rescue call and he ended up sleeping in his own bed. The teachers were nice enough to invite him back for the pancake breakfast this morning and he ended up having a great time. He also had an early morning t-ball game. His team was creamed again (36-7). Even H is finally saying it would be nice to win a game. The rest of the day was spent hanging out (with Brian and I running errands throughout the day). I attempted to make Pioneer Woman's mocha brownies (see photo above of H and C eating pickles and helping -- and C showing the chewed up pickles in his mouth -- he's so charming), and tried to substitute semi-sweet chocolate for unsweetened. Don't try at home. It didn't work at all, so I had to start from scratch. The new batch is still chilling in the refrigerator, but I did sneak a bite. They are pretty intense. Very rich, even for me. I think I like them, but I'd make a couple adjustments next time (I probably would use a bigger pan (they are thick) and less frosting (also very thick)).

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman’s Cookbook

  • Four 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 11/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 8 inch square pan.

    To make the brownie batter, place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments, being careful not to let it burn. Set it aside to cool slightly.

    In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs.

    With the mixer on low speed, drizzle in the melted chocolate. Add the vanilla extract and mix.

    Add the flour to the bowl and mix just until combined; do not over mix.

    Pour the batter into the baking pan. Spread it to even out the surface. Bake at 325°F for 45 to 50 minutes, until the center is no longer soft. Set the brownies aside to cool completely before icing.

    To make the icing, in a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla. Mix until slightly combined, then add 1/2 cup of the coffee.

    Whip until the icing is the desired consistency. If the icing is overly thick, add 1/4 cup more coffee. It should be very light and fluffy.

    Ice the cooled brownies, spreading the icing on thick. Refrigerate until the icing is firm, then slice the brownies into squares.

    No comments: